One hundred years ago today, October 9, 1918, his birthday, Jay wrote to Rinda from the Flirey, France.
In it, he mentions they’ve heard rumors the war will end soon. I know rumors were rampant during the war but the men must have been praying pretty hard that this one was true.
He also makes the comment, “Set our watches one hour to the rear.” Daylight Savings Time had been enacted in the United States earlier in 1918; its interesting to see it mentioned here, one hundred years ago.
And he tells Rinda that an acquaintance had quit a business started with money he had borrowed money from Jay (Jay then lost the money). I learned a couple years ago that in later life, Jay very often loaned money to people who were having a hard time financially. Seems like something he started doing at a pretty young age.
His birthday letter to Rinda:
October 9, 1918
This paper looks as if it had been through the war. But not so only small part of it.
Being my birthday I thought I would take a few moments off and spend them in your behalf. Guess you have helped me celebrate more birth days than anyone else. Can well remember some of the good times we had together can’t you? Hope to be back in good old U.S.A. next year at this time as we hear rumors the war is soon to be over.
One can easily tell fall is coming as the days are fast growing shorter. Set our watches one hour to rear this week and that aids us greatly in mornings.
Received a letter from Steve other day and they have moved away from Escanaba and gone to southern Mich. He is still with the same firm as their headquarters is in Detroit. Received your good letter of Aug 31st very recently and will answer you. I was more than pleased to learn you were getting along so well. One also came in same mail from Mr. Roblein himself but their daughter write me once in a while. Some small girl about 12 years of age I guess. They have left the mining game and gone into the hotel in some small town. Guess my money is gone for good. Sure was a foolish loan upon my part. But we all make mistakes and I no exception to rule. Have received a large number of letters of late, not one too many however as mail is about all we have to look forward to over here.
Note what you say about Shea family since class to their advancement of late, he must have been hitting ball better than in days when we knew them.
You stated you had not received any letters from me I have written several and you have undoubtedly received same before this date.
I will close with bbl of love to all.
Lovingly yours, J.
Address Sergt Jay E. Shetler
Co “A” 301st Engineers
Amer. Exp. Forces
(Ok note by censor)